Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Child briefly detained over meth packets

Child briefly detained over meth packets

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A man injects a syringe of drugs into his vein in Phnom Penh. Heng Chivoan

Child briefly detained over meth packets

A child used to mule drugs in Oddar Meanchey province was briefly detained and released by military police late last week, after they found he had no knowledge of the substances he was trafficking.

The 13-year-old school student was apprehended with 16 packets of crystal methamphetamine on Thursday afternoon in O’Svay commune, Trapaing Prasat district military police chief Kong Dara said.

“He was recruited by another person to carry the drugs and after we questioned him, we found he was not involved with the drugs,” he said, adding the boy was also tasked with delivering canned drinks, cigarettes and other goods in a basket in exchange for 100,000 riel ($25).

“We do not have any evidence, therefore we cannot press the charges against the boy involved, and the one who recruited him was in Thailand.”

Legally, the boy cannot be held criminally responsible as he is under the age of 14.

“The village chief told us that he is a student and goes to study every day . . . He had [made such a delivery] once in the past and took that money for study,” Dara added.

Aimyleen Gabriel, child protection technical lead at World Vision, said that using children as drug mules “is exploitative and is a clear violation of their rights”.

“It is unconscionable that children are abused and exploited in this way,” Gabriel said.

“Not only does it put at risk their immediate physical safety, but long term it impacts their ability to trust those around them,” she said, adding children living in poverty were at a greater risk.

Additional reporting by Erin Handley

MOST VIEWED

  • PP massage parlours raided, 29 suspects held for prostitution

    The Phnom Penh municipal Military Police on Sunday raided four massage parlours in Por Sen Chey district and detained 29 suspects for questioning over their alleged involvement in prostitution. Deputy municipal Military Police commander Pu Davy on Monday said the four massage parlours were located near

  • PM: All 10 Asean countries to receive Rainsy arrest warrants

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Thursday that all 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) member states will receive warrants for the arrest of Sam Rainsy. The warrants have already been sent to Laos and Thailand. He was speaking at a joint press conference at

  • Human rights report biased, says Cambodia

    Cambodia has accused the 42nd session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland on Wednesday of having “undermined the principle of objectivity”. In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Cambodia to the UN said the Office of the

  • Overtourism still threatens Angkor Wat

    Ticket sales to the Angkor temples are down. An Angkor Enterprise report has revealed that ticket sales to the Angkor Archaeological Park dropped by more than 11 per cent from the same period last year. Prime Minister Hun Sen isn’t concerned. He told journalists that